Unfortunately, Nova Scotia has a long history of racism and discrimination. The marginalized former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children appear to have been victims of this racist past.
Over one hundred former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children have come forward with horrific stories of abuse and neglect. Most of these young victims were black.
There is evidence to suggest that for many decades the Home for Colored Children received less funding than did institutions housing white children. During these decades, there is evidence to indicate that the Province paid less “per diems” for black children in its care than it did for white children in its care.
The Inquiry should look into allegations of funding inequity and what role this may have played in the permeation of abuse.
All of the former residents who allege abuse state that they had nowhere to turn. They had to suffer in silence. They state that the social worker who the Province assigned to care for them never attended the Home for Colored Children.
The Inquiry should look into whether social workers attended the Colored Home as required by Child Welfare standards. It should look into whether the lack of attendance may have played in the permeation of abuse.
There is evidence that the Province of Nova Scotia knew (or should have known), for many decades, that the children being placed at the Home for Colored Children were being abused and neglected.
The Inquiry should look into the adequacy and outcomes of any investigations conducted by the Province in light of this knowledge. It should investigate the historic silence and inaction by the former Governments of the Province of Nova Scotia.
The purpose of all of these measures is for the Province of Nova Scotia to determine what happened at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, why it happened and how it was allowed to continue to happen and whether racism played a role in creating an atmosphere which contributed to the legacy of abuse suffered by many children while they resided at the Home.
We want to move forward knowing the truth. We want to bring healing to the victims. We want to learn from past wrongs and ensure that such abuse doesn’t happen again in the future.